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Top executives leave Scio Diamond


By Scott Miller
smiller@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 10, 2012

The CEO and CFO of Greenville-based Scio Diamond Technology Corp. both departed Nov. 30, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Joseph Lancia
Joseph Lancia
The company named former Cree Inc. executive Stephen D. Kelley as CEO to replace Joseph Lancia as the head of the young diamond manufacturer based at the Next Innovation Center in downtown Greenville. A search will begin to replace CFO Charles G. Nichols.

Lancia is the former CEO of D&W Fine Pack in Fountain Inn. He helped found Scio Diamond in 2011 with investment bankers in Minneapolis who acquired the intellectual property to launch the company. Scio developed a chemical-disposition process to grow single-crystal diamonds in a chamber. The diamonds are marketed for industrial use. Scio began diamond production at the Next center in June.

Lancia said he never intended for his time at Scio to be long term.

“I had done what I set out to do. My goal was to bring revenue to the company and I have done that,” he said.

Lancia said he is evaluating his next venture.

Previous coverage

Scio Diamond increases production
Scio begins diamond production
Scio Diamond conducts private offering
Scio Diamond locates headquarters, manufacturing facility at Next Center
Scio Diamond hires CEO

As part of his separation agreement, Lancia will be paid $225,000, as well as $1,200 per month for the next 12 months, according to the filing with the SEC. He will transfer 1 million shares of his common stock back to the company and give up voting power for his remaining 500,000 shares, which are subject to a one-year restriction on transfer or sale.

Lancia also agreed to provide transition assistance to Scio Diamond as requested by the company for six months.

His successor at Scio Diamond, Kelley, most recently served as COO and executive vice president of Cree Inc., a manufacturer in North Carolina’s Research Triangle of silicon carbide-based semiconductors. Prior to his work at Cree, Kelley was a vice president at Texas Instruments Inc. 

Ed Adams, chairman of Scio’s board of directors, said in a news release: “We are delighted that Steve has accepted our offer to lead Scio. His diverse skill set, international business experience and technical acumen are a great fit for the company. In many ways, we see Cree, Steve’s former company, as an aspirational model for Scio and where it might go. From that perspective, Steve’s experience leading high-growth technology businesses fits ideally with Scio’s continuing and rapid evolution toward large-scale production of diamond material. I’d also like to thank Joseph Lancia for his service to the company. He helped make Scio a commercially viable enterprise with excellent growth prospects.”

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